I am told that the half-smoke is a Washington, D.C., specialty, which I find hard to believe since here in the nation's capital we are constantly told that we have no local culinary specialties. Well, take that, Baltimore! I love a good crab cake and I'll put my recipe up against anyone's but, BY GOD, nothing beats a grilled half-smoke with a bunch of junk piled on top of it. Here's my spicy Vidalia onion relish and feel free to pile on the additional toppings from there. For those who can't find half-smokes, any good-quality hot dog will do.
Spicy sweet onion relish
- 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup roasted red pepper chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamon
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer and simmer very slowly until onions are very soft and liquid is nearly gone. If liquid evaporates too quickly while cooking add a bit more water. Check seasoning and cool. If more spiciness is desired add a bit of Tabasco sauce.
- Grill a half smoke sausage -- never boil -- and serve liberally with relish and whatever else you feel like dumping on top, the more the better.